These were only just finished in time to post them today, I kitchenered the toe on the second sock this morning.
Pattern: Kai Mei by Cookie A from sock innovations
Yarn: Zauberball in turquoise and black
Needles: 2.25mm dpns
Mods: Used round toe pattern instead of alternating decreases.
The heart made by this pattern is very cute, and surprisingly easy to remember and work. The rest of the sock is fast to make since it is just ribbing with increases and decreases placed to make the patterned panel move across the foot.
I am not sure that a sock is the best place for this pattern technique as the pattern will mostly be hidden in shoes. It is also distorted a bit where it tries to stretch during wearing. More stitches in the foot section would solve this as the give would be in the ribbing rather than the panel trying to accommodate it.
The Zauberball has lovely colours and pleasing long repeats. The colours worked out better on the left sock than on the right (shown on the right of the picture with its pattern downwards). I didn't make any effort to arrange the colours, just let them go wherever.
The yarn is spun as a single, I have found a few sock yarns that are singles and am as yet undecided on them. They can be a little splitty during working (although this was not too bad in this case) and tend to fuzz up more during wearing. I may try making a single and working with it next time I want to spin a sock yarn. It is also on the thin side so 2mm or 2.25mm are needed to make socks the way I like them.
The label says it is machine washable, but I am unlikely to risk it as these seem a little small due to the lack of stretch in the patterned panel and I don't want to risk shrinking them.